If the splendidly charming Chap Hop genre has eluded you these past few years then fear not, dear reader, for you’ve taken the first step towards becoming a beloved and honourable chumrade. Despite the recent negative press about the genre due to the ill-repute of Michael Gove, I assure you that an eternal love of music about tweed, Battenberg and phrases like “it’s simply not cricket” await you.
So chum, what is Chap Hop?
Chap Hop is in many ways the most identifiable, albeit novel, British form of Hip Hop. As hereafter discussed, the use of beloved and eccentric British stereotypes form a central theme of the genre, and therein lies the appeal old boy! Suddenly the vocabulary of Hip Hop bursts wide open, and things like oolong tea can now be considered subject material. An awesome contrast from bitches, guns and wealth, no? Which can be equally fictitious. Got it? Spiffing!
Who are these delightfully charismatic nincompoops?
Two artists currently dominate the genre: Professor Elemental and Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer. Formally rivals, they’ve released songs attacking each other and have even had a ‘chap off ‘on stage. However they seem pretty chummy on Twitter these days and remarks like “I don’t like your tweed, sir” have long been abandoned. The only other artist really worthy of mention is Sir Reginald Pikedevant, Esquire – who is indeed divinely dandy, but hasn’t released nearly enough songs to compete with the likes of Professor E or Mr B. You may want to avoid Poplock Holmes and DJ Wattson, who despite their imaginative names, aren’t very good (and they’re coffee swilling yanks too!).
Why aren’t there more Chap Hop Artists?
It is my suspicion that Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer and Professor Elemental cover the basis for Chap Hop so exuberantly that any other attempt would be ridiculed as mere imitation. With Sir Reginald Pikedevant’s first song (posted below) this was indeed the case. However, once Sir Reginald made his belated introduction he curiously came into his own as a more sophisticated and mentally stable Chap Hop character all together. It is, then, in my humble estimation that there’s no reason why a whole host of (but of equal charm)chap-hoppers shouldn’t appear – but only if they present new and unique characteristics. Mr B represents the 19th century socialite, Elemental’s the British explorer, Sir Reginald the scholar. Why not the angry English colonel? A snidey butler? Even a horny cricket-umpire? A league of extraordinary gentleman, if you will.
Tell me old boy, why is Steam Punk involved?
Most people have heard of steam punk, often seeing curiously ordained antiquities for sale claiming to be so.
Steam Punk refers to a type of science fiction or alternative past, typically based in Victorian Britain, where technological progression is remarkably different from that of reality. So therefore our Chap-Hop rappers impersonating 19th century gentlemen fulfil this criteria quite nicely. As does Professor Elemental’s flying zephyr and his time travel trousers.
Can I be a Chap Hop Artist?
Yes, yes you can good sir. Buy yourself a pair of corduroy trousers, some fine cigars, and rap about your disregard for the constabulary. Tally Ho!
Peaches and cream! Where do I start?
Voodoo has collected some of the very best Chap Hop songs to get you inspired. Full steam ahead!
Sir Reginald Pikedevant, Esquire – Just Glue Some Gears On It (And Call It Steam Punk)
“It’s simply not cricket, it shouldn’t be done!”
Sir Reginald Pikedevant, Esquire – A Belated Introduction
“I’ve got more rhymes than Roxburghe has ballads”
Professor Elemental – This Is My Horse (Show Me Yours)
“I’m out for lunch! I’ve lost the plot!”
Professor Elemental – Splendid
“My muffins are freshly baked”
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer – Chap Hop History
“But your teacher preaches class like you’re a bally nincompoop”
Mr B The Gentelman Rhymer – Hermitage Shanks
“I am the chappy who’s seen the nappies of a thousand lappy lasses”
Professor Elemental – Cup Of Brown Joy
“When I say Assam, you say lovely”
Professor Elemental – I’m British
“I’m British like a clotted cream tea, apologetic morris dancer? Then you must mean me”